Friday, April 13, 2012

The Birthday Girl

Brynn's birthday was back in January.  I didn't forget to write about it and I'm not really that behind.  She chose to postpone the celebration a couple of months because she really wanted her little brother and her grandpa to be at the party.  We chose to keep Jaren home for a couple of months to help ward off sickness and let his immune system get stronger.  So had we held her party closer to her birthday, Jaren would have stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa.  But she was willing to wait it out just so they could come. 
In our family, most birthday parties are at home or maybe the park.  The exception (so far) is the 8th birthday.   Since turning 8 is a special deal, we decided they could go somewhere for the party.  Brynn chose Chuck E. Cheese.  I think Grandpa was hoping she'd have her party sooner so that he had an excuse not to go.  :)  She invited the girls from her class and a couple others and she had a great time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Brynn and Jaren's Special Day

Brynn Isabelle Hollingshead
would love for you to attend her
     Saturday, March 24, 2012
10:00 a.m.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2110 Byrd Spring Road
Huntsville, Alabama 35802
The blessing of Jaren Hollingshead will follow the baptism


Monday, March 12, 2012

Can't Keep Up

Jaren is now 8 weeks. He stayed in the NICU for ten days and got to come home on January 23. We've had a few doctor visits and he now weighs 11 lbs. 1 oz. and is 22 inches long. When he was born he weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 20.5 in. Growing well, I'd say! We've kept him home as much as possible to avoid the germs while his immune system wasn't as strong. We've done the same with all the girls and they have all been very healthy. The kids have been dying to show him off to their friends and teachers. Until he was older and ready to be out and about, Jaren has been spending a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa really likes having him sit next to him on the bed where he can reach him and rub his feet. Sadly for Grandpa, the time has come that i'mwilling to bring Jaren with us. Today was his first time to church. He has plenty of people who will help me out if needed. :). He marked the exciting day by looking as cute as can be and then pooping out down the front of my shirt. Thanks little guy. Now that Jaren is bigger, Brynn can finally have her birthday party and she will be getting baptized on march 24th. She purposefully delayed both so the Jaren and Grandpa could both be there. Jaren will be blessed right after her baptism. I think she likes sharing the day with her brother. :). There have been other things of course, it' a little hard to keep up with it all. I've got to find a better way.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Special Baby Boy

Jaren Max

Our 1st boy was born on January 13th at 12:09 p.m..  It was Friday the 13th -  a day my Grampy considered lucky and a day that my fortune cookie said would be lucky.  We would have to agree.  We are very lucky to have this little baby boy as part of our family.  He had a little bit of a rough start, beginning before birth.  I was supposed to be induced but he didn't like my contractions.  So the doctor went the "more natural" route and just broke my water instead.  Jaren really didn't need much help in coming.  His struggle was keeping his oxygen level up high enough.  He has spent 8 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) waiting for his lungs to develop a little more.  I think we have finally hit that point.  He has been breathing on his own for over 24 hours with really good numbers.  The girls have had a difficult time with him not coming home - especially Brynn.  They love him and just want him home.  Luckily, this NICU allows siblings to visit for 15 minutes a day, as long as they are 3 years old.  They at least get to come and say hi and give him some love.  Brynn seems to be having the hardest time.  I think she kind of considers him hers.
We have been blessed with a very special boy.  I think Heavenly Father must have a lot of faith in us - or knows we had a great need.  Our little Jaren has down syndrome.  My first thoughts, when we were told it was very probable, were those of worry and sadness over the possible problems he would face over his lifetime, especially since a little friend of ours who has downs had just spent most of this past year fighting leukemia.  It's scary and overwhelming when you start to consider everything that he could have.  Tests were run while he has been in the NICU so we know that his heart is good.  There is a very small hole (4mm) that should heal itself over the next few months.  He could've had eating problems, but he eats like a champ.  He doesn't seem to have any real health issues.  That doesn't mean he won't, but we are not going to spend our time worrying about what might happen.  We have 5 kids.  I think I'd go insane if I spent time worrying about what might happen to or with any one of them. 
What we do understand is that this little guy is supposed to be with our family.  We had always figured that we would have 4 kids.  But after the 4th came, neither one of us had the feeling that we were done.  There was someone else waiting to come to our family.  Jaren is what you would call a "special needs" child.  I think Heavenly Father understood that our family had special needs.  :)  We needed a boy.  check.  Greg and I both have talked about needing to be more patient and loving and not yell so much.  I think this little guy is going to help us accomplish that.  We needed extra love and humility.  check.
We are all thrilled to have this little guy finally here.  We can't wait to see how he grows and experience what he has to offer.
Welcome to the family little Jaren Max.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I love my children's current understanding of the resurrection.  While we were talking about the subject a few months ago, I was trying to explain that everyone would be perfect - no sickness, all body parts (hair, etc.).  Camden explained what she had understood - "so does that mean that there won't be anymore stupid people?"

I just overheard Brynn talking to Camden  - "Camden, that means when we're resurrected we won't make any mistakes in basketball."

We are taught that we should apply our teachings to our life.  I think they have done it perfectly.

Oh yeah, Ashlen started all-day preschool today.  She was thrilled!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The day finally came!  After 10 long years of effort from all of us, Greg finally graduated on Saturday, May 15, 2010 from Athens State University.  He had a brief scare when we first arrived and couldn't find his name on the program, but it was just a mistake.  We applied for graduation late (unbeknownst to us) and they didn't put his name in the right category so it was left off the program.  But they caught it and ran new copies of the program for our family and the family of the other guy that was left off.  It turns out though that Greg's name isn't really H. Gregory Hollingshead - so there should be some more programs in the mail.  Greg made sure that the announcer said everything right though.  It was a nice and short ceremony.  All 8 girls were very good.  We are very proud and very happy that he has finally finished.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Friends and Boys

I found this book that Camden made at school.

These are just a couple of the pages.  The boys page is my favorite!